The Palestinian Authority (PA) is coming under unusual fire from the United Nations for naming a women’s center after a notorious terrorist.
U.N. officials, as well as Norwegian officials, took issue with the Women’s Technical Affairs Committee (WTAC) for naming a West Bank center after Dalal Mughrabi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, according to Legal Insurrection. Mughrabi was part of the Coastal Road Massacre of 1978 that left 38 Israeli civilians dead -- 13 of whom were children – and another 71 injured in one of the most brutal terror attacks in Israeli history.
“The United Nations disassociated itself from the center once it learned the offensive name chosen for it and will take measures to ensure that such incidents do not take place in the future,” the U.N. said in a statement provided to Fox News, in which it also said its support of WTAC ended last year.
“The glorification of terrorism, or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts, is unacceptable under any circumstances. The U.N. has repeatedly called for an end to incitement to violence and hatred as they present one of the obstacles to peace.”
The U.N.’s action surprised some observers, as the international body has a long history of ignoring such behavior.
U.N. officials also point out that the center’s inauguration occurred after the international body ended its association with the WTAC and that it wants the “U.N. Women” logo removed from the building immediately.
“We will follow up accordingly to ensure that that happens,” according to a U.N. statement provided to Fox News.
Meanwhile, Norway is demanding that the PA refund the money the Scandinavian nation donated for the center’s construction and to remove their nation’s name from the center.
On Friday, Norway’s foreign minister, Børge Brende, condemned the PA for naming the center, which was funded in part by Norway, after Mughrabi.
“The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore this decision in the strongest possible terms,” Brende said in a statement to Fox News. “Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way. We will not accept the use of Norwegian aid funding for such purposes.”
Brende also said that Norwegian officials had been unaware that a decision was made to name the center after Mughrabi and that Norway would no longer participate in future projects with the PA until it receives assurances that it will not happen again.
The Palestinian Authority has named numerous buildings and streets in the West Bank after Mughrabi, including two other schools. In 2010 it tried to name a public square after her on the anniversary of the Coastal Road Massacre but faced criticism for the decision.
A ceremony took place a year later in the town of Al-Bireh with a dozen people in attendance, none of whom were Palestinian government officials, according to a 2011 Haaretz article.